New publication: A History of Early Modern Communication. German and Italian Historiographical Perspectives, eds. D. Bellingradt and M. Rospocher (Special issue: Jahrbuch des italienisch-deutschen historischen Intsituts in Trient, vol. 45, no. 2, 2019)

We are pleased to share this announcement from our network member Daniel Bellingradt.

This special issue focuses on Italian and German historiographies and aims to contribute to establishing a theoretical framework for a history of early modern communication. The introduction by Daniel Bellingradt and Massimo Rospocher addresses why focusing on past communicannali_isig_Layout 1ation allows the historian to access and investigate social behaviors and political formations, but also opens horizons to individual and collective patterns of observing and contributing to the media system. In general, the special issue argues for an understanding of “communication” to mean human activities that produce media and likely exert social impact, as the editors state in their introduction. The contributions to this special issue conceive communication history from an interactionist perspective: each traceable past medium is understood as a result of a certain human communicative practice, intended to have a social effect, and interpreted as a media-producing act of communication. The theory model explained in the introduction is followed by case studies around the topic.

Rudolf Schlögl’s chapter “Public Sphere in the Making in Early Modern Europe” builds on his recent German publications about this topic and presents a modified history of the emergence of a political sociality. Mario Infelise’s chapter is titled “Communication and Information in Early Modern Europe. From National Historiographies to a European Model” and sets out to outline the historiographical premises of the current interests towards the history of communication and information. With Andreas Flurschütz da Cruz and his “The Republic of Venice and the German Princes as Military Allies A German-Italian History of Communication in Times of War (Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries)” the focus is shifted to communicative aspects of diplomacy. In “Sound Politics. Sonic Agency and Social Order in Early Modern Zurich”, Frieder Missfelder contributes to analyzing the political dimension of acoustic practices in the early modern period, and proposes an analytical framework for the study of urban sensory politics. Paola Molino’s chapter “Beyond the Language Divide The Endless Chain of the News between Italian Avvisi and German Zeitungen” encourages to overcome language divide of news flows in Europe, and proposes compositorial, geographical, political and spatial distinctions. Davide Boerio’s “Information Gathering and Communication Crises from an Early Modern Media Perspective” develops ideas to examine both long-term processes and short-term conjunctures of information processes and communication practices for the benefit of communication history. Last but not least, Isabella Lazzarini focuses in her “Tutto è bene a sapere: Gathering, Ordering, and Using Information in Diplomatic Communication” on the communicative impact of the period’s typical increase of available information on the transformation of diplomacy itself.

The special issue can be ordered via the journal website: 

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